Mind Music recently interviewed John from Late Cambrian. Read on to find out more about the Electro/Pop Duo from Brooklyn, NY.
Chiffvone: Where are you both from?
John: I grew up in Queens, New York. Olive grew up in Hong Kong.
Chiffvone: Please do tell me how you both met then became a duo from a band?
John: O and I met on the set of a show called Nurse Jackie. We were both playing hospital patients. I was recording a solo record at the time and O came by and sang in it. The record eventually became the first Late Cambrian LP called The Last Concert. As to becoming a duo, it really much more of a statement of intent than anything else. Alex Cohen still plays drums on the tracks that have live drums, and we have a new bass player named Doug Berns who will put bass on three new songs. The songwriting duo in practice just means that the songs are written by myself for O and I to sing together.
Chiffvone: How long have you been a duo?
John: The duo concept happened after our last full band LP, Golden Time. We’ve taken the duo approach for 2016’s recordings.
Chiffvone: How do you both find the music industry?
John: The music industry, like any industry, reflects what you put in to it. We’ve found more outlets to success since simplifying and adding electronics to our approach, but I think I’ve just become a better, more concise songwriter. My goal is to exist in an artist driven music universe of my own making, whatever that means.
Chiffvone: Why did you decide to change direction? And have you received a warm response to the transition?
John: it was less of a conscious choice and more of an evolution of tastes and sounds. I’ve always been a fan of new wave but I never really got interested in writing electro pop until our third album. I’m always on the hunt for new sounds and new sonic palettes. It was a natural progression for me as a songwriter, to try to open up the Late Cambrian sound past the traditional guitar bass drums lineup. I think the response has been overwhelmingly positive, but that again comes from it being an organic progression to get there and not just writing the same music and adding keyboards to modernize it.
Chiffvone: So John, tell me about your first ever gig and where it was? John: Our first ever gig was at an event called Beerfest. We somehow got booked to play on an outdoor stage in upstate NY for a field full of beer enthusiasts. It went well considering it was our first ever show. That night we drove back to Brooklyn and played our second- ever show at a place called Bruar Falls (now called Grand Victory)…. That was a fun day of music.
Chiffvone: How would you both describe your overall sound and style?
John: On record we sound like Indie Electro Pop, and live we sound like Indie Rock. We take the recorded music and inject it with extra live rock energy to give the live show an extra kick. It makes it fun for us and for the crowd!
Chiffvone: Tell me was music always your first passion?
John: well… When I was just a kid I liked insects a lot. For a while I thought I would grow up to be an Entymologist, but then I got a guitar and all that changed pretty quickly. I’ve been a musician ever since.
Chiffvone: What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
John: Know what your goals are and understand how long that path is – Don’t expect instant success if you make alienating personal music, and don’t expect critics to love you if you make radio pop. These two paths have different positives and negatives so know your goal and understand what comes with the territory.
Chiffvone: Biggest highlight of your careers so far?
John: Touring the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and The Netherlands opening for Wheatus for 26 shows. It was incredible, and I hope to tour again soon.
Chiffvone: What can we expect for the future?
John: We are putting the finishing touches on a 6 song EP of brand new music. You can expect us to tour another country sometime in the near future!
Massive thank you to John!
If you want to hear more from Late Cambrian, check out their SoundCloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/latecambrian
Love Late Cambrian, and this interview. Awesome questions! Excited to see what the future holds for them.